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"Trip Report - Lonesome Complex Fire"
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Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
"Trip Report - Lonesome Complex Fire" on 09/22/2008 11:22:12 MDT Print View

Living in southern Oregon, near Crater Lake and the PCT, I hear daily updates regarding the Lonesome Complex fire. Just this past week the fire doubled in size resulting in the closure of the PCT from Devils Peak north into and through Crater Lake. I decided to take a fast overnight trip to see the fire. Here are some pictures.

Devils Peak PCT trail marker.
PCT trail marker at Devils Peak.

PCT closed section below Devils Peak.
Closed PCT below Devils Peak heading north to Crater Lake.

Alta Lake, south of Devils Peak, in the smoke.
Alta Lake, in the smoke, south of Devils Peak.

Fire burning north of Alta Lake.
Fire burning north of Alta Lake.

Smoke just around the corner from Alta Lake.

Fire helicopter picking up fire crew from lake below Alta.
Fire fighting helicopter picking up a fire crew just below Alta Lake.

Look closely and you can see the helicopter next to the lake below with fire burning beyond.
Helicopter at lake below.

Fire crew near helicopter.
Fire crew near helicopter.

Helicopter with fire crew heading out.
Helicopter and fire crew heading out.

More fire and smoke.
More fire and smoke.

Alta Lake.
Alta lake looking east, fire is to the north.

Camp next to Alta Lake.
Camp next to Alta Lake.

Camp.

My view from camp.
View from camp.

Alta Lake near dark.
Alta Lake near dark.

Edited by thomdarrah on 09/22/2008 12:34:25 MDT.

Bill B
(bill123) - MLife
trip report-Lonesome Complex Fire on 09/22/2008 11:44:19 MDT Print View

Nice photos! Which McHale is that?

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
"Trip Report - Lonesome Complex Fire" on 09/22/2008 11:55:15 MDT Print View

Bill,
Good eyes, that is a brand new full dyneema LBP35 that Dan just finished for me. The tarp is a MLD spectralite.
Thom

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Lonesome Complex Fire on 09/22/2008 17:04:57 MDT Print View

Hey nice pictures- it's hard to believe there is still fires this late into the season. Just wondering what is night/day time temps in Or in Sept. Thanks

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
"Trip Report - Lonesome Complex Fire" on 09/22/2008 18:03:05 MDT Print View

Jay,
The weekend was the coolest we've had in the area for some time. Day time temperatures Saturday were in the mid 70's with a lot of wind and overcast/smokey skies. Over night temperatures at Alta Lake were in the low 30's, any colder and I would have had ice in my water bottles.

Maybe the most interesting part of the short trip was hearing, and seeing via headlamp, the large number of deer and elk migrating away from the fire under the cover of darkness. The ground along side the lake was, for lack of a better word, trampled the next morning as I packed up and headed out.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Lonesome Complex Fire on 09/22/2008 18:22:31 MDT Print View

Interesting about the elk and deer, there alot smarter then they appear-sometimes!! I am thinking of hiking around or by Crater Lake next summer any suggestions: thanks

Christopher Holden
(back2basics) - F - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: "Trip Report - Lonesome Complex Fire" on 09/22/2008 19:15:54 MDT Print View

Geez Thom! How much of your trip was spent manicuring the campsite for the photo? I think I see a couple pieces of gravel that could have been moved to fill in a low spot!
Bummer about the fires, but it's got to be worth the trip when you see these events in action.
I spent my weekend slumming by the lake. I killed more beers than fish and spent a night under an open sky. You can bet the tarp went up quick when I smelled rain last night! Our night time temps are still in the 60s. I've got a few more months before I can compare cold stories with you.
Chris

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
"Trip Report - Lonesome Complex Fire" on 09/22/2008 19:59:45 MDT Print View

Chris,
The forest service set the site up a few years ago to let over used areas closer to the lake recover. I seemed to have the whole Sky Lakes Wilderness to myself due to the fires (except for the helicopter pilot and fire fighters at the lake below me that the picture shows leaving) and the site I used had the best front and center view of the fire.